CATE 2006: CATE Board Resolution 1 – Commendation of the Convention Committee
CATE 2006, “Adventures in Anaheim: an “E Ticket Experience,” celebrates the enriching, engaging, and enchanting experiences that occur in our classrooms and beyond every day. We are reminded that our efforts provide students with memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.
This convention happens only because of the volunteer efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who sacrifice their time and energy to make this weekend possible.
Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) thank and commend the following outstanding volunteers:
Convention Chair JoAnn Mitchell,
Convention Coordinator Teisha Hase
Hospitality Cyndy Shelton
Registration Michelle Berry, Angus Dunstan
Concierge Kathy Allen, Ken Allen
Programs Robin Luby
Meal Events Diane Tellefsen, Marilyn Wells
Major Speakers and
Friday Night Events Nancy Himel
Lesson Plan Exchange Bill Younglove
AV and Room Set-up Bob Chapman
CATE Membership Booth Joan Williams
Pre-Convention Jayne Marlink
Book Signings Vince Piro
Local Authors Akiko Morimoto
Technology Strand April Moore, Gil Diaz
Local Arrangements Joyce Bennett
Volunteer Coordinator Phil Bowles
College Credit Martha Plender
New Teacher Reception Akiko Morimoto
President’s Reception Maureen Rippee
Awards Maureen Rippee
Exhibitors’ Reception Teisha Hase
CYRM Akiko Morimoto
CATE Treasurer Anne Fristrom
Exhibits Jeff Wilson
Registrar Eddie Hase
Flyer/Program Publication Carole LeCren
Convention Consultant Punky Fristrom
Printer Rick Benson
CATE 2006: Resolution 1 – Keep Novels at the Heart of the English/ Language Arts
As districts adopt standards-based textbooks, the emphasis of these lessons results in reduction of time for novels and longer works, which are often sacrificed to complete the textbook curriculum. Furthermore, textbooks are not meant to be core texts, but supplemental. In addition, the volume of prescribed textbook material hinders teachers from using their individual expertise and professional judgment.
The standards include the use of novels. In fact, the teaching of novels supports and delivers the standards. Novels are the place where students explore complex characters and situations that unfold through the study of longer works, rather than the quick glimpses that short stories provide. The study of novels provokes students to confront critical decisions in their own lives. Also, students often become life-long readers through their novel studies.
Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to support professional judgment of teachers in meeting the state standards through the use of multiple full-length novels and plays in all English/language arts classrooms.
State Board of Education
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Secretary of Education
Chair of Legislative Education Committee
CATE 2006: Resolution 2 – Keep Flexibility in Intervention English/ Language Arts Classes
In an attempt to respond to the provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the state mandated exit exams, schools have initiated intervention English/ language Arts classes for students falling below the 40th percentile on standardized tests. These classes are designed to assist students who may read far below grade level, may have attendance or behavior issues, or lack proficiency in English language.
Scripted curriculum, such as Open Court, and Language!, is approved and supported by the state, and is implemented in the majority of interventions classes.
Scripted “one-size-fits-all” programs can be ineffective as can any program that does not recognize the individuality of students. Students are, therefore, unable to move at their own pace and often become frustrated and stop attending class. This is a disservice to students, teachers, and communities.
Teachers are often prohibited from interacting off script to meet student needs. Teachers often have difficulty in addressing multiple needs with limited or inappropriate materials.
Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to support teachers in using their professional expertise in addressing the needs of individual students who need intervention in order to meet the standards. Funding for addressing the needs of the individual must be provided.
Chairs of Legislative Education Committees
State Superintendent of Public Education
State Secretary of Education
State Board of Education
CATE 2006: Resolution 3 – Electives Support the English/Language Arts Curriculum
As education budgets are cut and additional classes are mandated to accommodate standardized testing schedules, school electives are being stripped away. Journalism, yearbook, speech, drama, creative writing, art and music classes as well as many computer classes are being identified as non-essential. In their place, intervention classes are being presented outside of the best learning context, draining fundamental instruction of all possible joy and innovation. Joy in learning should be a critical component of education. English/ language arts instruction is best served through a rich and varied school curriculum. Knowledge is not a set of individual terms and skills, but is about connections, relationships, and patterns that may be completely improbable. Students and teachers alike learn by going through the process, exploring what works for them, and building knowledge from their experiences.
- Students express themselves in a variety of ways through the arts and other elective classes that augment and allow them to practice skills introduced in English/language arts classes.
- Many electives such as journalism, speech, drama, and creative writing produce end products, which appeal to students. Electives develop job skills and lead to other proficiencies that engage students. Each of these areas can be connected to and enhanced in English/language arts classes.
- Electives allow students to interact with a larger community through performance or publication, which enhances confidence and enthusiasm for school. Arts have long been a motivator to keep students in school by allowing them to use their imagination and push the boundaries of their thought processes.
Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to endorse electives as an extension and support of the English/language arts curriculum, integral to the education, personal growth, and employability of students, and as a place where remediation of skills can occur.
The State Board of Education
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
CATE 2006: Resolution 4 – Teacher Credentials
Proof of job qualifications (credential/certificate) are required for teachers of English/language arts applying for or retaining a teaching job in California. California requires both subject matter and CLAD certification for anyone teaching English/language arts.
- Some districts are threatening loss of seniority and/or positions for teachers unable to prove qualifications
- Currently, many teachers have experienced more than a six-month wait from the time teachers send in applications to renew or obtain new credentials until the time they are processed. (This includes CLAD certification.)
- Exacerbating this problem is the fact that the budget for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) has been dramatically reduced over the past several years, contributing to the backlog of the processing of teacher credentials
- Frequently, no one is available by phone or e-mail at the Commission for Teacher Credentialing. The website still has some problems and often says only “pending” to signify an application was received.
Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California Legislature to adequately fund CCTC so that they can process teacher credentials in a more timely manner and provide a quicker response to teacher.
Legislative Budget Committee
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
CATE 2006: Resolution 5 – ELA Organization Policy Input
Currently public input for legislation on education issues occurs only after recommendations have been drafted and largely decided by a series of committees and commissions. Four major organizations critical to English/language arts teachers in California are not consulted for input into these drafts.
- The California Writing Project and the California Reading & Literature Project are programs providing highly successful professional development opportunities for thousands of K-14 teachers.
- California Association of Teachers of English and the California Reading Association provide resources and support to thousands of English and language arts professionals
Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education and the California legislature to consult with these projects and professional organizations before establishing state policy, publishing curriculum frameworks, or passing laws that affect the teaching of English/language arts in California. Furthermore, be it resolved that CATE urge the State Board of Education and the legislature to seek input from these stakeholders during the drafting process.
California State Board of Education
California Reading Association
California Writing Project
California Reading and Literature Project